While I realize that getting faster is not the only/best way to measure progress in running, it's always something I seem to get focused on no matter what I tell myself. I'm kind of a numbers/data person when it comes to these things so when the numbers don't show me what I'm feeling then I don't believe it's true. The opposite is also true, when the numbers show me that things are going well and I don't feel like I'm getting stronger/better/faster, it's hard to believe. It's especially hard to believe when I haven't been putting very much effort and I start getting results.
Over the last couple of weeks I have been on two runs that have averaged in the 10min/mi pace zone. That hasn't happened to me in months...possibly even over a year. So imagine my surprise when I saw those numbers after running less overall and not being focused at all on getting faster. What's changed? Well, I've been doing a lot of swimming since I'm training for a triathlon.
(The random outliers are most likely bike rides and ice skates, not running)
I'm sure part of it is related to the lack of pressure I've been putting on myself right now. I'm currently working on building a solid base for real triathlon training to start in a few weeks, so I'm not focused on anything other than getting my body moving. I also probably need to give myself some more credit as far as the work I've put in. Sure I've had bad weeks where I don't get moving very much, but for the most part I have been very diligent about workout out a least a couple of times per week. The other important part of celebrating progress is just accepting that it's happening and enjoy it! I shouldn't be obsessing over whether or not I'm getting faster or whether or not the numbers are lying, I need to just enjoy it and continue putting in the work to keep the forward momentum!